Campbell’s Soup: Functional, Portable Beverages Meet Foodservice Snacking Occasion
Q&A with Tenaj Ferguson, Associate Brand Manager, Campbell’s Foodservice
Snacking continues to expand in both definition and daypart, with 71% of consumers defining a snack as “any item” and 46% of the U.S. population snacking at least three times per day.1 The need for nutritious snacks is also growing—51% of consumers say healthfulness is an important factor in their snack choices2—and operators can give guests the solutions they’re seeking with V8® beverages from Campbell’s Foodservice.
Campbell’s Foodservice, Camden, N.J., says its V8® portfolio encompasses V8® Red, V8® Blends and V8 +Energy®. Officials say all of them contain at least half a serving of vegetables, with no added sugar and no artificial colors or preservatives. Operators can place them in refrigerated beverage coolers or alternate shelf-stable locations, such as prepacked grab-and-go bundles and impulse areas near a cash register.
As 57% of consumers say portability is important for snacks,1 V8® beverages can meet guests’ demand for functional, nutritious snacks throughout the day.
1The NPD Group Eating Patterns in America, 2016. Technomic Consumer Trend Report, 2016.
2Technomic Snacking Consumer Trend Report, 2016.
Here’s how Campbell’s Foodservice describes each offering:
• V8® Red: Available in Spicy Hot, Low Sodium and Original varieties, V8® Red has two full servings of vegetables in every 8 ounces to help guests jump-start the morning
• V8® Blends: With refreshing fruit and vegetable nutrition people can feel good about at any time of day, V8® Blends come in 100% Juice options as well as Lower Sugar for guests seeking lower calories and sugar than competing smoothies and juices provide
• V8 +Energy®: The carbonated and still flavors of V8 +Energy® offer steady energy from natural green tea, one combined serving of fruits and vegetables, and lower sugar than other energy drinks have
To learn more about how beverages fit the foodservice snacking occasion, Prepared Foods interviewed Campbell’s Foodservice Associate Brand Manager Tenaj Ferguson.
Prepared Foods: Snacking and functional beverages certainly are important trends. How is Campbell’s Foodservice talking to foodservice operators about how V8 beverages address those trends?
Tenaj Ferguson: The goal of foodservice is to meet consumers’ needs while on the go and away from home. Today, consumers’ needs and expectations for operators and brands away from home continue to evolve, just as their lifestyles are evolving. Consumers face demanding schedules, busy lifestyles and more cognitive and attention strains.
All this heightens the need for a smart, easy choice when it comes to refueling. In a crowded marketplace, brands must cut through the noise and really demonstrate to consumers that they understand and are there to meet the needs of each moment. Snacking occasions continue to expand in both definition and daypart. The V8® portfolio includes fruit and vegetable juice blends that meet guests’ demand for functional, nutritious snacks no matter the consumer lifestyle or life stage. We’re all about showing up and delivering on the key moments that matter.
For more than 80 years, V8 has brought more veggies into people’s lives in convenient, portable formats starting with our Original 100% Vegetable Juice. Since then, we’ve added more beverage options to respond to today’s evolving consumer demands. We’ve added more flavors, more varieties of fruit and vegetable juices, and now even more functional benefits, such as the green tea steady energy in V8 +Energy so that V8 remains relevant for all.
We continue to envision more V8 product innovations to meet consumer on-the-go needs and will remain true to V8 providing functional plant-based nutrition that is unquestionably good for you!
Prepared Foods: We serve executives in consumer insights, marketing, R&D and innovation. What can you tell us about V8’s latest new offering?
Tenaj Ferguson: The newest development is V8 +Hydrate, a superior plant-based beverage that uses sweet potato juice to provide plant-based hydration with natural electrolytes. V8 +Hydrate is delicious, brings superior plant-based hydration with a clean, crisp taste that refreshes and replenishes. We anticipate its launch in foodservice in late 2018 or early 2019.
Here are its unique functional benefits:
* Isotonic to replenish fluids and nutrients quickly
* Natural electrolytes from sweet potato juice
* One serving of vegetables, no sugar added and no artificial sweeteners, and is Non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan-friendly
* Our Strawberry Cucumber variety has a more preferred taste
* Perfect 8oz and 11oz can portion for on-the-go, quick consumption
V8 +Hydrate is for the consumer looking for healthier options with added benefits, especially health- conscious millennials. V8 +Hydrate will fill a void within the $6.5B anytime refreshment need state, which currently includes beverages with too much sugar, too many artificial ingredients and little to no positive health benefits/ function.
While most plant-based beverages are reported to have a polarizing taste, we believe V8 +Hydrate is very appealing across the board and is set at an affordable price compared to other plant-based beverages. Mintel research indicates that 82% of consumers have tried or want to try a functional beverage with multiple benefits and more than half of consumers are buying healthier foods compared to just last year (S).
(Source: Mintel Healthy Habits, July 2017, NPD National Eating Trends January 2018, Mintel Beverage Blurring, Feb 2017)
Prepared Foods: What foodservice segments are best suited to your messages related to V8’s functional benefits and alternative snacking appeal?
Tenaj Ferguson: V8 is versatile. Our V8 front-of-house portfolio delivers a variety of functional benefits and meets consumer needs throughout the day for different foodservice segments. This link provides a nice outline of where we play in the market.
One success story example is with one of the US’ largest vending operators. They were seeing declining trends in the smoothie category in its micro markets. Campbell’s Foodservice replaced a leading smoothie brand’s stand-alone coolers with V8 coolers and filled them with our best sellers. Beverage sales increased, with guests preferring the lower-calorie options and fruit and veggie nutrition V8 delivers.
V8 also fits the back of house, with our multi-serve portfolio adding flavor and functional benefits to a number of dishes spanning sweet and savory for every segment. Our V8 back-of-house culinary initiative, called Menu Makers, includes relevant menu ideas for operators. We’re putting the final touches on our next edition. It explores ways of using V8 in the back of house to create more nutritious, flavorful and creative, trending Mexican dishes.
Prepared Foods: Anything we’ve missed that you might want to highlight?
Tenaj Ferguson: Campbell’s Foodservice is committed to bringing our “Real Food” journey to life in all of our products for operators across all segments. We’re committed to bringing carefully crafted foods to more people with our portfolio of products spanning frozen soup, canned soup, bread and bakery, sauces and beverages to make the away from home eating experience a positive one!